14 Answers About Real-time Bidding and Mobile Advertising
Real-time bidding (RTB) and mobile advertising are a match made in direct marketing heaven, Victor Malachard seems to think.
The CEO of Adfonic, a London-based mobile advertising buying platform provider, answered a few questions recently about the practice many marketers may be considering adding to the marketing mix in 2013.
Target Marketing: Marketers are concerned about display ad networks that are perceived as cheap and, generally, promoting bad places for their ads to run. What advice do you have for marketers using RTB for this?
Victor Malachard: Mobile RTB is transparent. Instead of opacity around exactly where inventory prices have come from, with mobile RTB, advertisers can control the prices they're willing to bid at.
- Mobile RTB is more accurate. Rather than treat inventory as blocks with fixed prices, mobile RTB algorithms operate at the level of each individual impression, employing demographic and behavioral data to decide whether to bid and then at what price;
- Mobile RTB is fair. It uses market dynamics to achieve a true inventory value based on what many bidders quote …
TM: What are the growth areas for RTB? (A look at 2013 …)
VM: Premium mobile publishers are making their remnant/unsold inventory available on RTB. This is because it's simply the easiest, most efficient way to move this inventory at scale;
- We will see traditional online RTB exchanges become more savvy about incorporating mobile RTB into their traffic. While the benefits of RTB apply equally to online and mobile, there are significant differences in implementation with mobile, such as using Big Data and smart algorithms to get around the lack of cookies for targeting;
- We're seeing increased use of data from third-party data providers to gain more efficiency in bidding at the per-impression level. This will continue, including data from mobile operators, to drive more value.
TM: How effective is RTB at unifying advertising channels?
VM: There is currently no cookie economy in mobile, but this will be addressed in a different way as data providers make sense of mobile;
- Today, the innovations around mobile RTB are showing how Big Data, when married to smart algorithms, may in the future provide the "connective tissue" between digital advertising—and when all advertising is digital, from billboards to TVs, that means data-driven, programmatic buying will work across all channels.
TM: Large companies are perceived as not moving very fast. How well are they adopting RTB? Does it play well into methodical, annual marketing budgets?
VM: Some large companies are embracing mobile RTB because they see it as a new opportunity to bring in new data points, which mobile demand-side platforms (DSPs) combined with smart algorithms can then optimize against to target audiences more efficiently;
- Mobile RTB enables them to set the price levels at which they are willing to bid, so this fits perfectly into budgetary planning.
TM: Why is display making a comeback, let alone RTB? (Do marketers understand that RTB isn't as high-maintenance as they think it is?)
VM: First, did display ever disappear? The IAB U.S. stats on Internet ad revenues show fairly uniform growth over the past 16 years;
- RTB isn't as high maintenance because marketers gain efficiencies by being able to reach many publishers through one DSP.
TM: Why is there a difference for marketers wanting to buy in mobile vs. Web?
VM: Creatives. Marketers need to be sensitive to the different form factors and sizes of mobile ads—what works for a large Web display cannot often be shoehorned into a mobile screen. They also need to understand the unique interface of mobile, in which devices can be swiped, shaken, tapped and so on. These are uniquely able to encourage users to engage with brands using rich media ad formats, which incorporate these interactive elements.
- Measurement. As well as the hard metrics, such as clickthrough and conversion rates, rich media ads can provide marketers with the softer metrics, such as brand awareness, brand engagement and intent to purchase.